2009 UNICEF ICBD Regional Award winner children in media spotlight

2009 UNICEF ICBD Regional Award winner children in media spotlight
Kulsum Mustafa

LUCKNOW: September 25, 2009: They trooped in with an air of confidence. There were 20 of them. From ages six to 14. Proud winners of the UNICEF Regional Award for International Children's Day of Broadcasting (ICDB). The All India Radio (AIR) children's programme team was accompanied by their mentor and senior AIR programme producer, Ms Archana Prasad. The radio team which had recently won international laurels had been invited to the UP Press Club with the media fraternity at the bi-monthly "Media for Children," programme jointly hosted by Media Nest and UNICEF, the former a forum of media professionals.

Also present were the UNICEF communication specialist, Augustine Veliath, and one of the resource person for the radio programme that won the award, Dr Nautiyal, a scientist. The children, expert at handling the microphone, shared their experiences about the making of this special radio programme that had won them this prestigious international award and brought honour and recognition to the radio station.

ICDB is a day set aside each year to celebrate children's broadcasting and encourages young people to get involved in television and radio broadcasting. The 2009 ICDB theme was, "Unite for Children: Tune in to Kids

The ICDB award was instituted 19 years ago. This is for the first time that AIR Lucknow has won it. A grand award ceremony is slated for 10 November 2009, in New York, where the regional award winners will be honoured and out of these regional awards one international winner will be declared as the global winner.

Besides India the other regional winners in the race for this international honour are Bangladesh, Brazil, Cambodia, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Malaysia, South Africa, Suriname, Togo and


The US based jury judged the entries between June and August 2009. The entries were evaluated by teams of broadcasters, radio and television experts and communications specialists. The judges looked at content, execution and year-round youth participation.

AIR Lucknow’s entire two hour programme broadcast on March 1, had been conceptualized, prepared and presented by children for this special broadcasting day. Later an edited version of 30 minutes was prepared which was send as an entry for the competition to New York.

It was an email message of Stephen Cassidy, Chief of UNICEF's Internet, Broadcast and Image Section, to Ms Prasad that carried the happy news. It read, "We are thrilled with broadcasters’ dedication to the ICDB and children's programming. We are inspired by the diversity and creativity these broadcasters exhibit in celebrating UNICEF's mission to involve young people in the media-making process. Children around the world reap the benefits of their commitment."

The mail went on to say how the ICDB was launched in 1991 to encourage broadcasters worldwide to create awareness for children's issues and takes place the first Sunday in March. On that day, youth write, report, produce and present programs that allow them to reach a wide audience with their thoughts on the issues that affect them. The next ICDB will take place on 7 March 2010.

"We put in our best but we never even dreamt that we would be getting this award," said an elated Tuhina, the anchor kid for the radio programme.

"It was lovely to face the media, get ourselves photographed and interviewed," said Gauri, Children's programme anchor. Tuhina said that all the while they had been conducting the interviews; this was for the first time that they were interviewed.

"It was a great feeling when my friends and teachers called up after reading the news and seeing our pictures in the newspaper. The news sunk in then," said Anshuma who is a student of class ninth. Wanting to become a software engineer for him radio will remain a part of his life no matter what he does in life.

"The quality of the programme speaks volume for the talent of the children. AIR never won an award simply because it never participated in the competition before. They made a good programme and forgot about it. They entered the competition for the first time and won,” said Mr Veliath who persuaded the programme team to send in their entry for the competition.

Expressing happiness at this great honor Ms Archana Prasad who will go to US to receive the award on behalf of the team gave full credit for this award to the children who had put in a lot of labour.

"I think it were the two interviews that the children had done with the slum children and with Dr Nautiyal for 'our planet Earth' that must have impressed the jury," said Ms Prasad when asked about the highlights of the programme sent for the competition.

Wrapping up the programme Ms Kulsum Talha, senior journalist and secretary general Media Nest said, "Media Nest and entire media fraternity applauds the great achievement of these bright kids and wishes them more success in life."

Kulsum Mustafa
(The author is a senior journalist and Secretary-General of Media Nest)